Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A bit of a blow

The forecast westerly blow looked OK this morning but was only about 6m/second, quiet light. I decided to head out anyway and tried Norra Ängalag. Had a good 2.5 hour session here before breakfast. Highlights included a scattering of passage waders going past close including knot (15), dunlin (55), bar-tailed godwit (1) and grey plover (3). Seabirds included gannet (5 south), lesser black-backed gull (2 south) and a poor view of a Manx shearwater to the north and heading that way too. Razorbills went past in good numbers (7) and also one guillemot. Stationary stuff here included curlew sandpiper (2), whimbrel (1) and turnstone (1).

When I got back home a quick look at the available gen indicated that shearwaters were moving and that Cory's was a distinct possibility if I got back out. This I time went to Hovs Hallar - the spot around here for sea-watching. Despite another 2.5 hours failed to connect with Manx or Cory's. The latter had gone to ground in the bay somewhere. Did get great skua (1), gannet (1) and more passage birds including common scoter (20), turnstone (1), common sandpiper (5), grey plover (2), whimbrel (2), razorbill (2) and guillemot (1). Before going home checked Båstad for 45 minutes to see if anything was in the bay and sitting around. This partly paid off with a single fulmar (plus three goosander).

Had to get back to the house but checked the gen later in the afternoon to find all hell had broken loose with a Cory's shuttling between Hovs Hallar and Kattvik. Made a dash for the easiest of these two to access (Kattvik) but missed the bird by 15 minutes. As we sat watching we heard that the bird had slipped south past Ripagården. Leaving me to rue the decision to head for Kattvik instead of taking the other option of heading it off if it went south. You win some you learn some. Sea-watching is the only type of birding that I do that demands a pager - I guess I will crack eventually. It would just be handy to know what was coming from the north and be able to nip out and intercept it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Birding - 20/07/09

Monday rolls around again and a chance to bird further afield with the kids in tow. Kicked off at Rönnen where yesterdays huge numbers of waders had sadly dwindled in time for our arrival. We did see three Temminck's stints though, as well as curlew sandpiper (1), wood sandpiper (4) and a handful of other waders. Nearby at Sandön there was a bit more going on with goosander (4), curlew sandpiper (1), dunlin (56), greenshank (2), redshank (5), bar-tailed godwit (6), avocet (2), snipe (1) and curlew (30). A fishing osprey caught a nice flat-fish as we watched. Shelduck numbers have quietly dropped away everywhere locally over the month and now we find just odd singles and small late family parties.

After a deal of shopping we checked out Klarningen. The kids enjoyed the mud greatly and in between repeatedly digging out Numbers 1 & 2, I had time to look for a few birds. Highlights included 70 sand martins perched on the access track (also two yellow wagtails here), a female marsh harrier and a single green sandpiper. Met one of the local birders down the shops yesterday and he reckons that Klarningen will eclipse all other Swedish west coast wetlands in 2010 and 2011. It is going to be good if so.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Birding - 19/07/09

Took the family out for a look around a few sites this afternoon. Started at Ripagården where the seaweed mat on the beach produced a good selection of waders including: dunlin (13), redshank (1), wood sandpiper (4), common sandpiper (11), bar-tailed godwit (5), little ringed plover (5) and ringed plover (1).

Also checked Torekov rev which was quiet with just one bar-tailed godwit of note. Nearby Påarps Mal was better with some great birds: whooper swan (1), barnacle goose (21), teal (13), wood sandpiper (3), common sandpiper (5), dunlin (20), curlew sandpiper (1), whimbrel (1), ringed plover (25), lapwing (20) and snipe (1).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Birding - 18/07/09

We had rain for most of the day and what with the Lord's Ashes test match did not get out much. Why Strauss did not opt for the follow-on was truly mystifying.

Did get fifteen minutes at Klarningen though in the afternoon, fairly quiet despite the rain, did get green sandpiper (5), grey partridge (pair) and a few goldfinch.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Birding - 16/07/09

A snout (Hypena proboscidalis) was lurking in the house this morning

First graylings (Hipparchia semele) of the year at Vasaltheden this morning

Took Numbers 1 & 2 for a walk in the morning around Glimminge. Half an hour here produced a few waders, but nothing too exciting: greenshank (1), redshank (2), wood sandpiper (1), common sandpiper (4), little ringed plover (1), ringed plover (1) and a single snipe. We walked there and back through Vasaltheden and had numerous graylings fluttering around.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birding - 15/07/09

After a morning's work on the house, we headed down to the beach at Stora Hultstrand - very busy and not many birds. In the evening I slipped out for two hours and checked out Ripagården. The rotting seaweed in the little bay here was disappointing a few days ago, but was crawling with waders this evening. The stars were two Temminck's stints, but also in attendance were wood sandpiper (4), common sandpiper (7), dunlin (1), little ringed plover (4) and ringed plover (5). Nice little haul for minimal effort.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A visit from the Queen

Queen-of-Spain fritillary in the garden this evening. This one is a male.

Quiet family day, we waved off Commander Nutbeam and Ma B at the station and went swimming. On the lavender this evening we had a great nectaring Queen-of-Spain fritillary. Our buddlea is still in it's infancy so we are relying on the lavender at the moment.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Birding - 13/07/09

Day out with the kids saw us heading for Sandön, as we left Grevie a hobby whizzed past heading south (migrant?). Sandön was great with a showy osprey fishing as we arrived and later seen perched on the deck. Waders were better with broad-billed sandpiper (1), dunlin (33), avocet (8), spotted redshank (1), greenshank (5), redshank (6) and common sandpiper (2).

Later in the day we found ourselves at Torekov rev which, despite the crowds of holiday-makers, produced curlew sandpiper (2), dunlin (6), common sandpiper (1) and bar-tailed godwit (1). A quick check of Ripagården was disappointing with just four common sandpiper.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Birding - 12/07/09

Small copper Lycaena phlaeas - lovely butt

Lots of meadow browns Maniola jurtina on the wing at the moment

Nipped out for a beach BBQ this evening. Commander Nutbeam and I were dropped off first at Ranarpstrand and had a great little half hour here. Best of it was a close adult Temminck's stint, the supporting cast included greenshank (2), redshank (3), green sandpiper (7), wood sandpiper (1), common sandpiper (4), dunlin (1), whimbrel (1) and curlew (1). Nearby at Grytskaren we had a nice turnstone (only my third of the year) as well as more common sandpiper (4) and another dunlin.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Birding - 11/07/09

Slipped out mid-afternoon whilst the kids went to buy their Saturday sweets... Spent an hour at Klarningen - quiet here with curlew (2), green sandpiper (3), common sandpiper (1), lapwing (60), ringed plover (pair) and little ringed plover (pair).

Next stop was half an hour at nearby Frestenfalla, here some dragonfly pools are always worth checking and today was great. Plenty of damsels with Lestes sponsa, Coenagrion hastulatum and a single Pyrrhosoma nymphula. Big dragonflies were represented by an excellent Leucorrhinia rubicunda, lots of Leucorrhinia dubia, Libellula quadrimaculata, Sympetrum danae and a single Aeshna (prob juncea).

Plenty of Coenagrion hastulatum on the wing today

Sympetrum danae was present in good numbers as tenerals, just one adult located

Leucorrhinia rubicunda, just one present in amongst plenty of dubia. Note the blackish pterostigma, pale costa and the pattern along the abdomen.

A Leucorrhinia dubia for comparison.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Birding - 08/07/09

Marsh helleborine Epipactis palustris at Slottet near Förslöv this morning

Took the kids and Ma B out during the day. Our first stop was the orchid clearing at Slottet. Nice showing of marsh helleborine here and a big fritillary escaped the net. Plenty of meadow brown and ringlet flying though. Birds included a singing redpoll.

We took lunch at Älemossen and picked a load of blueberries. We could hear cranes in the distance but they did not show. As we drove away from the site a dark green or high brown fritillary (?) appeared and perched right by the car. Too brief to identify - either would have been new for me here. The butterflies have been excellent this summer after two poor years, I just wish I had a bit more time to chase them around.

Commander Nutbeam (of the Norwich Nutbeam's) picking blueberries out on the heath

After tea I took Mrs B out for a walk to Glimminge. Huge numbers of Tringa sandpipers must be on the move because we had good numbers (for this site) of wood sandpiper (9) and green sandpiper (14), as well as common sandpiper (4), dunlin (2) and snipe (1).

Changeable weather at Glimminge this evening

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birding - 07/07/09

Dragged myself out in the early morning for a look around. Started off at Klarningen. Things here were fairly quiet. Water levels remain about the same after last nights rain. A few waders in, including green sandpiper (2), common sandpiper (1) and ringed plover (2). Other birds of note included yellow wagtail (1), marsh tit (2) and greenfinch (2). Along the river found the first Lestes sponsa of the year.

Nearby Petersberg was quite with an agitated little ringed plover being the best of it. Likewise the river mouth on Hemmeslövstrand was quiet too with ten velvet scoter being the highlight.

Birding - 06/07/09

With the family and the car back, painting was put on hold and we headed out to do some shopping and birding. Checked out Hasslarp on the way back from Helsingborg. Fairly quiet here, waders were OK though with green sandpiper (4), wood sandpiper (4), ruff (3), ringed plover (2) and little ringed plover (1). A pair of sedge warblers were busy feeding young. Odonata in the air included Coenagrion puella, Anax imperator and Orthetrum cancellatum.

En route to Rönnen stopped at the river near Välinge for loads of Calopteryx splendens and a few Aeshna grandis. Rönnen was also OK for waders with avocet (3), greenshank (1), spotted redshank (2), wood sandpiper (7), common sandpiper (2), ruff (3) and dunlin (10).

After shopping in Ängelholm went out to find it pouring with rain. At least one wheatear was knocked down by the rain and fed by the car.